Thursday, September 6, 2012

When the Going Gets Tough, Don’t Underestimate Self Compassion

If you tend to be a perfectionist and are juggling multiple responsibilities at one time, or if you are running into routine obstacles such as not getting the job you wanted, or the house or maybe you didn’t do as good a job on an assignment that you were aiming for.  Perhaps it is something as simple as forgetting the primary item you went to the grocery store for (after driving for 2 hours in traffic!).  Inevitably, you may feel disappointed or reprimand yourself for feeling as though you did not accomplish the mission that you set out to, big or small.   In times like these, self compassion can go a long way.  Learning to dispel those negative thoughts with positive messages can move you forward so you are not stuck ruminating about what you could have done differently, and hence, wasting valuable time and energy.  See the suggestions below for practicing self compassion:

1.  Identify what went wrong and realize that it could have happened to anybody and you are not alone.  See the humor in it and make light of the fact that now, when friends and relatives are recounting their similar stories of rejection and/or forgetfulness- whatever the case, you will have something to interject.

2. Write yourself a letter of support and express it in a way that parallels how you would support a friend going through a similar type of frustration.  The letter does not have to be long and make sure it contains phrases that express understanding, kindness and forgiveness.  Read it aloud to yourself when you are finished to quickly introduce those good positive feelings.

3. Reassess the situation with an objective viewpoint.  If you are really concerned about the situation, it may benefit you to write down the steps that occurred before the incident happened and afterwards.  Refrain from judging yourself.  Try to identify what state of mind you were in that day and/or what could have caused the disappointment; it may have even been factors outside of your control such as the overabundance of traffic causing you to forget the spaghetti sauce that you had planned on purchasing at the grocery store.  Whatever the case, remind yourself that these situations can happen to anyone and that you will aim to be more thoughtful and learn from whatever the debaucle was that interfered with the successful outcome you wanted.

4. Remind yourself that you are human and when your friend or relative struggles with similar situations, think of the gentle support you give them and provide yourself with the same nurturing kindness.  If you have time, fix a warm cup of tea, take a quiet walk and/or chat with a friend to get your mind off your ruminations so that you can move forward and tackle the next task that is awaiting you.

For more information on this topic, visit this link.

No comments:

Post a Comment